Could better U.S.-Cuban relations thwart baseball's human smuggling problem?

Even with the embargo in place, Cuban ballplayers could have a safer path to the pros

Yasiel Puig
(Image credit: (Christian Petersen/Getty Images))

For the past two years, Yasiel Puig has been one of the best players in Major League Baseball. Signed to a $42 million contract, the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder has slashed .305/.386/.502 (average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) since his 2013 debut, making him the fifth-best hitter in that span, per one all-encompassing offensive metric.

But like many Cuban-born players, Puig's journey to the big leagues could easily have ended in disaster and death, not riches and fame.

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